About the book

The Laughing Baby is a popular science book about baby psychology. Long before babies can talk, they communicate their experience of the world through laughter and tears. Until now, however, psychologists and parenting experts have largely focused on moments of stress and confusion. Developmental psychologist Caspar Addyman decided to change that.

For nearly a decade Caspar has run the Baby Laughter project, collecting data, videos and stories from parents all over the world. He has learned that laughter and smiles – crucial to reinvigorate the weariest of parents – are of central importance at the start of life. They define our cognitive and emotional development and provide a fascinating window into what babies are learning.

Moving chronologically through the first two years of infancy, The Laughing Baby explores the origin story for our incredible abilities, and how understanding them is key to understanding ourselves.

The Laughing Baby is published by Unbound.

The Laughing Baby is published on 16 April, 2020

Order from Unbound Order at amazon.co.uk

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Take Part

The laughter of tiny babies is not just a phenomenally popular theme for YouTube videos, it is also a fantastic window into the workings of the human brain. You can’t laugh unless you get the joke and neither can a baby. At Goldsmiths InfantLab we study how...

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File a Field Report…

A smiling baby standing in a field
Here I am in a field, what now? (Image by Sean Dreilinger via flickr.com)

As a parent you are studying developmental psychology every day. So we'd like your...

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Are babies born with an inherited or predetermined sense of humor?

The short answer is that we don't really know. But my research has shown two things. (1) The majority of babies start laughing incredibly early (around 2-3months old)...

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Submit a video

Have you seen a good video of a laughing baby? Have you and your baby made one? Please let us know and we will post it on the blog. If the video features your baby, please let us know who else was present and how old...

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Memorable Laughs

Here are some answers from our survey to the questions "What was your baby's most memorable laugh?". Reload the page to see more (There are 257 & counting).

Thank you to the thousands of parents who contributed to this project.

Addyman, C., & Addyman, I. (2013). The science of baby laughter. Comedy Studies, 4(2), 143–153. https://doi.org/10.1386/cost.4.2.143_1

Addyman, C., Fogelquist, C., Levakova, L., & Rees, S. (2018a). Social facilitation of laughter and smiles in preschool children: Dataset, analysis...

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About the author

Caspar Addyman holding a teddy.
Photo by Teake Zuidema

Caspar Addyman is a lecturer in psychology and director of the InfantLab at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has degrees in maths and psychology and completed his PhD at the world-renowned Birkbeck Babylab. He has investigated how babies acquire language concepts and even their sense of time. Since 2012 he has been studying what makes babies laugh and why. His novel, Help Yourself, was published in 2013.